Silk & Sewing Sunday
Today was the designated day for painting the silk pennant I’ve been commissioned to do. This is always the most nerve-wracking part of these projects, especially when I’m working on a piece for someone else! It’s so easy to get paint where you don’t want it.
First, I stretched the silk on the frame. Once again, the dowels I sewed at the ends of the silk were a great help in keeping things square. This takes so much aggravation out of the stretching process!
Next, I painted all of the yellow bits. It’s good to do the lighter colors first. If you do manage to get something where you don’t want it, you may be able to cover small spots with the darker colors you’re applying. Luckily, the yellow all stayed where it was supposed to go! This took about an hour and then the Hubs & I both decided it was time for lunch. I took the frame off the tables I was working on while we were gone so there was no chance of kitties “helping” with the project. Plus, this gave the yellow time to dry a bit, making runs less likely when I started to apply the green.
When we got back from lunch, I went back to work on the green parts. This was even more nerve-wracking, since I didn’t want to get the darker green anywhere! The trick here is to move quickly but gently – don’t push down on the silk too much or it will bounce when you lift your brush and could cause paint to flip off the brush. Don’t flick your brush at the end of strokes – try to lift straight up when you want to move the brush off the silk. The dyes for this are very liquid and will tend to fly off the brush when you least expect it.
First, I painted the green blocks around the border and then did the inner parts of the letters on the bottom half of the pennant and all of the letters on the top half. I think I held my breath the whole time I was doing those – I really didn’t want any green running over the outlines into the yellow areas!
Finally, I used a 1″ foam brush to fill in the larger areas of green. This is also a point where you have to work quickly but gently. The foam brush will put more dye on the fabric than a hair brush will, and allows you to apply more quickly to avoid overlap lines as much as possible. Working around the letters and stag’s head was tense, but I managed it with just a few minimal lines. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the way the piece looks so far.
Now it will just sit and dry for a day or so before I press it to heat-set the colors.
Once I had that all done, I got to work putting together one of the underdresses I cut out yesterday – the hedge green one. It’s currently all together except for needing the hem marked and the neck facing tacked down. If I’m feeling particularly crazy before the weekend, I may throw a little embroidery around the neck opening. We’ll see how things go the rest of this week…